Archive | February 2012

Primary 1 Lesson 10 (Sunbeams) “I am Thankful for Trees, Plants and Flowers”

by Roberta

Link to Lesson at

Objective:  To help children feel gratitude to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for trees, plants and flowers.

I think these simple lessons about the various parts of God’s beautiful creation are a lot of fun to teach.  For this lesson about trees, plants and flowers, I’m following the lesson’s suggested outline for the most part:

First, I’ll discuss that trees, plants and flowers were created by Heavenly Father first spiritually and then created physically in the world by Jesus on the third day of creation, who followed Heavenly Father’s plan.  All these things were created for man to be useful and also to please man’s eye and gladden his heart (D&C 59:18).  I’m going to explain that the part I love most about trees, plants and flowers (aside from their fabulous uses) is their amazing variety.  I am so happy to have so much diversity to enjoy, so much varying texture and color.  When I look at trees, plants and flowers in the world I know that Heavenly Father loves diversity, too, and that He derives great pleasure from mixing them together in just the right way to create an incredible view.  I will show photographs of some amazing natural displays of trees, plants and flowers.

The lesson suggests including the “popcorn popping” song during the lesson, but I’m going to skip it only because I want to have enough time to cover several scriptures that involve trees and plants as key elements.  Here is what I’m adding for a scriptural emphasis:

Genesis 6:  Noah’s ark  (I’ll show a picture and I’ll ask what the kids think it’s made of).

Exodus 15:22:   The Israelites have been wandering in the wilderness and are thirsty.  They come to a pool of water that is very bitter.  Moses prays and is told to throw a nearby tree into the water to make it sweet.  (I’ll show a picture of a tree and ask the kids questions about how they think that tree grew there in the first place since it’s a dessert-ish area).

Exodus 3:   Burning bush at Sinai  (Did the bush really burn?  I may ask them why God used a bush and not a rock…just to hear their answers and to observe their thoughts)

John 19:  The cross used to crucify our Lord.  I will ask the kids what the cross was made of?  A plant, tree or flower?  Today, when we visit the gravesite of a loved one, we bring flowers to make it more beautiful and as a symbol of our love for that individual.

Mark 16:1:  Mary at the selpulchre to annoint Jesus’ body with herbs.  What are herbs? (I’ll bring a variety they can smell and touch)  Where do herbs grow?  Why would Mary use herbs on Jesus’ body? What are perfumes made from?

Genesis 2:  Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden.  Symbolic uses of trees to mean choices and growth.  Trees are often used in the scriptures as metaphors to teach important lessons because of the many uses of trees in our world.

For an enrichment activity I will bring paper cups, potting soil and seeds for the kids to plant seeds.


Sharing Time- March 2012- Week 1: God Speaks Through Living Prophets

I wanted to emphasizes that God speaks through prophets, but that we are responsible to know what the prophet says and that we can ask God directly to know if it is right and the Holy Ghost will tell us.

Identify Doctrine:

1-Invite a child to come to the front of the room. Tell the other children to follow his or her instructions. Whisper simple instructions to the child, such as “Tell them to clap three times” or “Tell them to stand and march in place.”  Do this once or a few times with different children depending on time and attention spans.

2- Explain that in the scriptures God has told us how each and every one of us can know when something is true.  (James 1:5) That Joseph Smith followed this scripture and prayed and his prayers were answered.

3-  Have another child come up (can be repeated) and do the same thing that was done in step 1.  But this time ask the children how they can know if what the person acting out was really what I said for him/her to do?

Answer Ask me.  Just like when we hear something we can ask God if it is true.

Question: How do we talk to Heavenly Father to know if something is true?

And then when we ask we will know in our hearts that we can make good choices and that we used the scriptures to know that we should ask God in prayer.  We can feel the Holy Ghost when we learn something or hear something that can help us be more like Jesus.  That we are blessed to have a prophets on the earth, and that we need to listen to what he says.  But that we also need to ask if something is true.

Sharing Time- February 2012- Week 4: Church Members are Blessed for Choosing the Right


Link to Sharing Time Outline 

Thoughts: I love to have children be the voice and share their stories about faith in their own lives.  With all my heart I believe that we need to teach our children how to reflect on their own lives and to share the principles that they have learned.

A few days a ahead of time I call the children in primary.  I like to split into groups and have the kids telling the stories rotate and the kids on the groups stay where they are.  I like to have no more than 5-7 kids per group.

I have each child to plan for a 1-2 min sharing (repeated for x number of groups).  I give the families a lot of flexibility.  I just told them that their child will need to share a story about how they chose the right, or a story where they had to make a choice and how they decided and what happened as a result.  They may bring a visual aide, write it down and read it off the paper or what ever  they feel comfortable doing.

I find that children sharing with children make the stories more real and developmentally appropriate since all the children are much more likely to experience something similar.

Sharing Time- February 2012- Week 3: Nephi was blessed for choosing the right


link to sharing time outline 


Thoughts:  In current research about faith and spiritual development in children it is important for children to know and internalize stories of faith.  And to liken them to their own lives.

This week I plan on having three children explain the scripture stories listed below.  I like to have children plan on doing this ahead of time.  Normally 1-2 days is enough time for families.  I like that each child learn the story at home and then is able to teach it to the class.  Normally in jr. primary I do need to help with the story.  I also encourage the child to bring a picture  to show to the class or an object to help with the retelling.

Identify Doctrine

1 Nephi 16:18–24, 30–32

1 Nephi 17:8, 17–18, 48–53

1 Nephi 18:9–21


Encourage Understanding:

After each story on the board I write what was the problem in the story (what needed to get fixed)

What were the choices that Nephi faced.  There is always more than one.  He could have always not done it.  Sometimes this is hard for the kids to understand that there is choice to not do anything.  Normally with the little kids I only try to get them to see two choices.  But the older kids are much better at seeing multiple choices.

What choice did Nephi Make?

Why is it important that Nephi made good choices?  What were the consequences of making good choices, what would the consequences have been if Nephi chose another option.  Like he did not go and look for food?

Nephi practiced making good choices.  Why is it important that we practice making good choices.  How can we practice making good choices?


Sharing Time- February 2012- Week 2: Jesus’s disciples were blessed by choosing the right.


Link to Sharing Time Outline

Thoughts while preparing this lesson.  The last few weeks I have been studying President David O. McKay’s teachings on agency.  I have thought and reflected on this years theme “Choose the Right”  and how important it is to teach our children to use their agency well.  And I have decided that for my lessons this month and for the rest of the year I will try to focus on how to teach children to see how they can become good agents for themselves and how they can learn how to act and not to be simply acted upon.

Identify Doctrine

The following scriptures are provided in the outline

Luke 10:38– 42 (Mary) and I will add Martha.  ( I think that the scriptural interpretation of Martha is too harsh)  That both picked a different way to serve, but that we have choice.

Matthew 4:18–20 (Peter and Andrew)

Acts 9:1–9, 17–20 (Paul)

Plan ahead of time to have some of the older children read or summarize the scripture or ask a few teachers to read.  I am planning on doing one story at a time to make it less confusing for the children.  It may be that one story takes up more time than the others.

Encourage Understanding:

I am planning on using my own version of the game of life for this month, but it would work just as well to use the “choice and consequences” stick from January.  The idea is that I want to emphasize that the people in this story had more than one choice and that they chose to act.

Example: Mary and Martha (props: cooking items; object lesson have some kids try to build something or cook something while trying to pay attention to the lesson)

Read Luke 10:38-42

Question: Who are the people in this story

Answer: Mary and Martha, and Jesus

Q: What was going on in the story?

Q: What was Mary doing when the story began?

Q: What was Martha doing?

Q: Why was Martha upset with Mary?  Do you think that you would be upset if you had to clean up and cook food and no one was helping you?  Back then cooking took a lot of work. It would take most of the day to make food for dinner.  What would have happened if there was no food for dinner?  Is cooking food a form of service?

Q: What did Jesus tell Mary and Martha?

Q: What could have been other ways that Mary and Martha could have both listened to Jesus and still made dinner?

Q: Is there anything that we can do to be better listeners to Jesus?  (helping share the work maybe).

Nursery Lesson #5 “Jesus Christ Showed Us How to Love Others”

by Heather F.

Link to lesson

I saved this lesson for the Sunday before Valentine’s Day because I wanted the activity to be making Valentines.

I think this lesson does a great job of offering stories directly from the scriptures to choose from. Almost every nursery lesson I give has the same format: show a picture of a story from the scriptures, talk about it, ask some questions, go color!  And that is really easy to do here: Show a picture of the Christ giving the sermon on the mount, talk about what is happening in the story, ask how we can show love, go make Valentines!

The one thing I noted about all the lessons on love is to remember that everyone feels love in different ways. Using the 5 Love Languages as a guide some ways are:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch

So when guiding the conversation, I plan on making sure I give an example of each for the children to do as a way to show love to their families.

  1. Saying “I love you.”
  2. Playing with your family and friends.
  3. Sharing toys, giving gifts
  4. Helping clean up or with other chores
  5. Giving hugs and kisses

I try to do this a lot because I think we have a tendency to downplay the love languages that we don’t speak ourselves: “Actions speak louder than words” except that for some people words are essential for them to feel love. “We’re going to give service for Christmas instead of gifts because it’s more meaningful” except that for some people, gifts are hugely important. It’s good practice to remember that love is felt differently for every person and each child in your class is going to respond to some of these more than others.

I might make a 5-piece puzzle of a heart, with each of the pieces containing a picture of each way to show love, for the kids to put together. Two year olds love puzzles!

And like I said above: end with coloring! I don’t do fancy handouts: I think I’m just going to draw some hearts on red construction paper and let them color them. Easy peasy!